the baby and the bathwater


big up
January 24, 2008, 7:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

big up: respect, encouragement (innit)

In order to have a break from the seriousness of my blogging recently, and having finally got lament ‘off my chest’ I want to let you know about some songs and recordings from two of my friends that are coming up.

Many of you will know that I have been quite opinionated on the whole worship industry recently, but I am really excited about these two projects, as to me they are trying to model something that I think is really healthy for the church. They are projects owned and funded by local churches, but which then are working in partnership with a distributor who seems to be conceptually big enough to work in this way. And a big ‘Hip Hip Horray’ to the churches themselves who are also conceptually big enough to grasp that great worship doesn’t always equal big profits and are prepared to take a bit of risk in this whole thing.

This means that the songs and albums feel like they have a real integrity to them. There’s no sense of either of these artists doing an album for the sake of it, or because they need to do one to make money. They are reflecting what God is doing in their churches at the moment.

And even more than that, both of the worship leaders are very, very good at what they do.

And because they are both very humble types, it probably needs people like me to big them up, because they aren’t likely to do it themselves.

The first is DAVID GATE. In the next few weeks David will be starting work on a recording with my own church, Trinity Cheltenham. Many of you probably know that David joined our church having previously been with Soul Survivor in Watford, and has led worship at their conferences in the Summer. Although I decided to overlook that when I offered him a job 18 months ago.

Soul Survivor has produced some outstanding worship leaders and song writers in recent years. But in my mind David stands out as by far the most thoughtful and musical writer of them all. (Yes, even more than the ‘big two’). Many of his recent songs have come out of times of worship here at Trinity. One in particular – called ‘Bones’ – was written between the first and second morning services one Sunday recently. This is no mean feat, given that there is normally only 15 minutes. It has been a big song for us too.

If you are expecting a typical rasping guitar driven youth-type yawn worship album, then this won’t be for you. What it will probably be, though, is a beautiful, authentic, worshipful album. There’s not many of those about at the moment.

No pressure then Dave.

As it’s a church album, we are having to be very clever with the finances too (interpretation – the budget is tiny) so we are blagging everything we can along the way too. Which is sort of fun.

The second is NICK and BECKY DRAKE

Nick is the worship leader at St Paul’s Hammersmith, and led worship with me at New Wine a couple of years ago. But he is most noted for his liberal use of the word ‘dude’ in conversation. Close behind this is his ‘rock star’ hair (ie a bit all over the place). Despite both of these traits, he has managed to catch a really lovely wife called Becky. And between them they have produced a kidz album called ‘God’s Big Family’.

Now, one of the worst part of my job as a worship pastor is hunting out new kidz songs. You just can’t imagine the complete drivel I have gone through over the years trying to find good kidz songs to sing in church. So when Nick sent me a pre-release copy of his album I was slightly nervous. But within about 10 seconds of listening to the first track I was jumping with glee. Here is the first couple of lines:

You put the stars in outer space, You popped the freckles on my face
All the fish that swim and all the birds that fly
Were made from your incredible imagination.

Becky does most of the vocals thankfully (only a joke Nick), and her voice is just right for the job – full of life and sparkle. And the songs are equally full truth, and thankfully avoid the mindnumbingtriteness of probably every kidz album I have heard since Great Big God.

And as Nick has entrusted me with a pre-release version I also get to be one of the first worship leaders to use them in church, which should add a huge amount to my ‘cool and with it’ rating.

So there you have it. Two great authentic, original, musical, albums full of great songs on their way. And not a big record label in sight.

Hurrah.

The revolution has begun.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hi Neil,
Do you have dates for these?

Comment by timneale

Hi Tim
Not sure when Nick and Becky will be out – it’s certainly in the pipeline. Dave’s will be out probably around June time.
Neil

Comment by Neil Bennetts




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